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Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

I can't believe I forgot that it is Ada Lovelace Day . You know- the day you share your story about a woman whether an engineer, a scientist, a technologist or mathematician who has inspired you to become who you are today.

So let me tell you about Shirley McBay. Shirley got her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Georgia in 1966. Not bad for a young African American woman born in Bambridge GA. After working at Spelman College and the National Science Foundation and spending 10 years as Dean of students at MIT, Shirley became president of the Quality Education for Minorities Network (QEM).

QEM is "dedicated to improving the education of African Americans, Alaska Natives, American Indians, Mexican Americans, and Puerto Ricans. Millions of dollars, now spent for remedial purposes, could be made available for the educational benefit of all children and youth by improving the quality of education available to the groups targeted by QEM. Quality education for minorities improves the quality of education for all."

I pretty much do whatever Shirley tells me to because:
1) she knows what needs to be done and she will make sure it gets done
2) no one, and I mean no one, forces her to back off
3) her "tough love" approach with young STEM faculty in minority serving institutions works
4) anyone who tries to "snow" her (this is a family friendly blog so I'm not saying bs) gets their head handed to them
5) she recognizes people who are making a difference and supports them in every way she can
6) she is making a difference.

I'm happy to be a member of the Shirley McBay Fan Club and even happier than she is a part of my life.

PS You do remember who Ada Lovelace is right?